As more Tampa Bay residents transition from working at home during the pandemic back to working at the office, the number of commuters on Pinellas County roads is rising—and so is the number of fatal car accidents, apparently.
New numbers reveal that collisions spiked in the first half of 2021 compared to 2020, according to ABC Action News Tampa.
Forward Pinellas, a local transportation advocacy group, counted 78 fatalities from January to June in 2021. During the same period in 2020, there were just 53 fatalities.
The same seems to be true for Hillsborough County. The Hillsborough County Transportation Planning Organization reported 122 fatal crashes so far this year. In 2020, there were only 100 fatal accidents reported for the same period.
Forward Pinellas Director Whit Blanton said that this new data is not surprising, who commented: “I think we’ve seen from the pandemic that speeding is up, reckless driving is up.”
Regardless, the numbers are a major cause for concern, and Director Blanton is “disappointed that we continue seeing the crashes we do.”
What are the most deadly intersections?
If you’re driving in the Tampa area, beware of the following intersections as research shows that they are particularly prone to car accidents.
- Sheldon Rd. and Waters Ave. W.
- Anderson Rd. and Waters Ave. W.
- Waters Ave. W. and Himes Ave. N.
- Bruce B. Downs Blvd. and Fletcher Ave. E.
Common causes of fatal car accidents
Most drivers are in at least 1 car accident in their lifetime. Not all of these crashes are serious, but far too many are deadly. There are about 15 million licensed drivers and 350,000 traffic crashes in Florida each year.
The reasons for these crashes vary. But more often than not, it can be boiled down to one of the following reasons:
Florida’s speed limits help drivers reach their destinations safely. When drivers ignore those limits, they’re more likely to cause a wreck. Speeding makes it harder to turn and gives drivers less time to react to unexpected events. If you’re speeding at night, the odds of hitting an animal or pedestrian are much higher.
2. Failing to obey a traffic control light
Drivers who run a red light or don’t come to a full stop at a stop sign are more likely to cause a serious accident. Running a 4-way stop light/sign may result in a deadly side-impact (T-bone) crash or head-on collision. These types of crashes can be fatal for occupants of passenger cars.
3. Drunk driving
Anyone who drinks and gets behind the wheel is at an increased risk for a fatal accident. When you drink and drive, your senses and cognitive functions are dulled. Drivers’ reaction times are slowed and they can’t make clear decisions.
4. Reckless driving
Weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating and cutting off other drivers are examples of reckless driving. All of these can cause a very serious accident. Motorcyclists are often accused of reckless driving, but passenger car drivers are just as guilty.
5. Inclement weather
While Florida isn’t likely to get snow or ice, rain and fog can be just as dangerous. Water creates slick roadways and can cause cars to hydroplane without warning. Drivers should slow down during inclement weather to reduce the risk of an accident.
What can I do if a loved one is killed in a car accident?
Losing a friend or family member in a fatal car accident is a heartbreaking experience that no one should have to go through. Sadly, these tragic accidents do happen—and when they do, you don’t have to endure it alone.
A Florida car accident lawyer can help. Lorenzo & Lorenzo has a dedicated team of professional attorneys committed to helping you through this difficult time. Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, but we can help ease the financial burden you and your family are experiencing in the wake of their absence. By making sure you’re properly compensated, we can help you pay for medical expenses incurred and funeral expenses.